Friday, May 21, 2010

SCOOBY TREATS


Back in 2003 I was hired to work on the 9th incarnation of the Scooby-doo tv series entitled, 'What's New, Scooby-Doo?'. At this time I was fortunate to meet Iwo Takamoto (Ap.29, 1925 – Jan.8, 2007), the legendary animation designer and creator of the original Scooby-doo characters. He had an office at Warner bros Animation Studio while we were in production.

Around the time we wrapped up the 13 "What's New.." episodes, I pitched an idea of updating the Scooby-Doo designs for a new series, to Scooby producer Marge Dean. In 2004, while I was working on 'Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century' @ WB, I had an opportunity to develop a couple of new design concepts for our 'New Look' Scooby-doo series pitch .

The designs above and below are some of the things I developed.

The color rendering of my BG design was by Steve Nicodemus























Well as these studio things go, we pitched the "new look" Scooby-Doo show in 2004 to the folks at WB Merchandise. A few design changes were requested, as shown by the Scooby design below.


However WB had another Scooby series in mind 'Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!'. But alas this is not the end of the story.


Luckily, in 2009 Spike Brandt & Tony Cervone, producers at Warner Bros, remembered my "New Look" Scooby designs. They were putting together a new line of Scooby-doo DVD's and chose to use my designs for their opening title sequence.



Here are some "new look" Scooby Gang attitude designs Spike & Tony requested for the DVD.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bat Trivia

Back in the '90's, I was a production designer on 'Batman the Animated Series' and all the other Bat-variations that followed, from '91-'98 at Warner Bros. Animation Studio. In 1998, Paul Dini (writer/producer) and Chip Kidd, published the coffee table book 'Batman Animated', through DC Comics. It featured a whole bunch of art and behind-the-scenes stuff from the Batman series. In the book, there's a pic of Bruce Timm's desk, as it appeared in 1997. On the right hand side, circled in white, is a photo I shot of Bruce's wife in '93.

The portrait was actually done as a favor, for one of the BG painters on 'Tiny Toon Adventures', who also designed handmade jewelry. Basically I did 36 pics of Bruce's wife, in the same pose, wearing a variety of earrings. We did this portrait shoot in Los Feliz CA , where I was living at the time.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hendricks @ The Blue Note NYC

When I was living in NYC, I was invited by Jon Hudson, a student at The School of Visual Arts NYC and the son of famed jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks, to shoot some photos, for a couple of nights, during his father's week long engagement at the jazz club The Blue Note. Here are a few of my unpublished photos. BTW all these pics were shot with my Pentax K1000; that ain't digital kiddos.
Jon Hendricks was a member of the jazz trio vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross from 1957-'64. Their album 'Sing Along With Basie' '59 earned a Grammy "Hall of Fame Award" in 1998.

THE FIRST NIGHT at the THE BLUE NOTE
couldn't have been more of a disaster, for me. The only photography experience I had, up to this point, was a bunch of fancy portraits of my friends. The only shooting conditions I knew were the ones I set up myself; lighting, environment, props, stuff like that.

When I got to The Blue Note, I realized that the film speed I was using was too slow. I felt lucky, I brought my flash. Unfortunately, a group of Asian business men, sitting in front of me, didn't share my sentiment. 3 mins into the show and I was lost. All I saw were microphone stands, large instruments and a crowd of loyal Hendricks' fans who were not happy with the intrusion.

To be continued.....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The 2nd Set @ THE BLUE NOTE

The Blue Note performance was billed as ‘Jon Hendricks & Company', featuring his wife Judith Hendricks, his daughter Aria Hendricks, and Kevin Fitzgerald Burke. There were 2 shows nightly. I shot these photos between sets. One of their live television performances on Vitoria TV; Brasil 1991


These were shot in Hendricks' dressing room

Hendricks'2nd set had an opening act. I don't recall the performers name. But she and her manger cornered me and insisted that I not use a flash during the performance. The only option was to change my film stock and I had about 5 mins to find some.

A drug store on 6th ave. sold Kodak's new blk/wht film; TX 5063. This film speed is between Tri-X & Plus-X.








The 2nd set and the following night's performances , were much more enjoyable to photograph without the flash, to say the least.


I do have more Hendricks & Co. photos. I just haven't had time to scan them all.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Finally a NEW camera!

One of my longest and most fruitful relationships, has been with my Pentax K1000. But as the digital age was ushered in, I followed the crowd.

My 1st digi was a Hewlett Parkard "point & shoot" PhotoSmart. Then I upgraded to a Canon Powershot G6. However I never warmed up to all it's presets, auto focusing and endless doo-dad options. We simply stopped communicating and our marriage quickly soured.

Nevertheless, I recently picked up a Canon EOS Rebel XS and we've enjoying a lovely honeymoon together!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Inking the Deal -08

I color copied a bunch of old pages so I could safely explore a variety of different Inking tools & techniques, without screwing up my new originals. One thing I discovered while working this week, your drawing style should accommodate your inking style; whatever that is.
As much as I poured over all the scrap pages I collected of my favorite inkers, finding my own intuitive inking style is taking quite a bit of exploring and experimentation.

I have decided to not post my final pages in this blog. I will however update the status on how the book is progressing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Inking the Deal-07

While I'm working on the final inking of the 1st 23pgs, I thought I'd post a sample of the thumbnails for the next 12 pages. A few of these older thumbnail pgs will be revised. I'll be posting a few samples of my final inked pages next week.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Inking the Deal-06

Here's a sample of the last group of rough inked pages w/tone. These are not the final inked pages, they've been scaled down 65% to spot the blks and experiment with inking.

This is a work in progress, so there will be revisions on most of the 23 pgs before I do the final inking.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Inking the Deal-05

Here's a sample of the 1st group of rough Inked pages w/ tone . These are not the final boards. For this test run the pages were scaled down 65%, to spot the blks and experiment with inking.



Saturday, February 27, 2010

FLASHBACK to 2004-1988

Here's a 2004 screen grab of my desk top which had the "working title" of my comic book, 'Dr. Moody MD.' and the original pages of what is now called 'THE BOOK'. At this time I was at Warner Bros. working on the TV series 'Duck Dodgers'. I kept a hardcopy of this on my animation desk, so I won't forget .

2004 I put this book aside partly because I hadn't found the spine of the story, it was still unclear in my mind how the story should unfold. Finding a visual hook, to begin this stuff, was equally confusing. Reference (scrap) and research material can be a blessing and a curse.

1988 Above are the very 1st drawings I did for this project , back in February 1988, when it was titled 'American Chop Suey'. At this time, I was living in NYC studying life drawing, I had not yet become an animation cartoonist.

Nevertheless , in the fall of 1988 I found a comic book drawing class taught by Len Wein at The New School in NYC . At the end of every class, he sold photo copies of original penciled comic pages for $5 bucks a pop. I bought as many copies as I could, but I had limited funds.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Inking the Deal-04

Still working on the revisions. Because of the countless times I've reworked all these pages, characters and stories (blah-blah-blah) I've had to re-stage the action entirely on some revisions, to keep my involvement fresh.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Inking the Deal-03

Here's a sample of the last final pgs, before I start inking all 23 pgs. The boards are out of order, because I'm not posting them sequentially .

**Damn it--REVISIONS !!
I thought I could "fudge" the small revisions I recently found, when I do the inking, but now I feel there are too many . These revisions will set me back a bit, in my inking timeline.

I think the next section will be less of a hassle , because all 30 pgs will be completely NEW work.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Inking the Deal-02

I thought I would have a new update today, however as you can see, I'm still noodling around with the story layout. To be on the safe side, I'll post my last 7 finalized pages (before I start inking) on Saturday.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Inking the Deal

Today I decided that I should finally ink the pages I have . I think this move will offer me a greater understanding of my working process and an overall feeling that I've accomplished something.

Instead of finishing up all 54 pgs, before I present the 1st sample book, I've decided to take the first 23 pgs I have already completed and ink those boards.

This project has been an "off again/on again" deal that I've dragged out for decades. I think it's time to see the entire book finished.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FIBS© pgs 1-7

Here's a sample of final clean pages. I haven't quite visualized what all these pages will look like, when they're finally inked.

Because this stuff is unpublished, I'm not going to show everything I'm working on, at the moment.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

'FIBS' copyright © 2010

I've decided to tackle my 'Atomic Romance' stuff, yet again, with a 3rd and final attempt at finishing my graphic novel. The new title of the book is 'THE BOOK'.

I plan on posting some rough thumbnail pages, followed by my clean-up. I'll also be posting some samples of the inked pages. The whole point of doing this, is to finally finish the inked pages.

I recently reworked the entire sample book "again", this time it's 50pgs. The entire 1st half of the series will be about 214pgs; yes, that number makes me nervous just typing it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Horsing around at Warner Bros. Animation.

Playing " WHERE'S BRUCE" with Art director, Mark Whiting (Iron Giant, Duck Dodgers) and Bruce Largent, production designer (Johnny Bravo, Duck Dodgers) while we were working on the WB series Duck Dodgers. At this time Warner Bros. Animation studio was in a new building in the Sherman Ocks Galleria directly across from the "OLD" location in Imperial Bank Building. Before the Galleria was remodeled in 1999-2001, the NEW WB studio was the original location of the 'Robinson May Co' department store.